Hands Down Best Accessory: Vintage Cafe Racer!

Man, this year has been pretty crazy thus far, I'm sorry I haven't been able to keep up with the KV blog! New job, new home, new hobbies, a lot of things are coming up Tiffany, so it's been a constant go go go the past few months.

So: what exactly have I been doing? What could possibly tear me away from sharing my favorite fashion picks and projects? Why, just toting around a jaw-droppingly beautiful accessory that will quite literally take you places. Not an Hermès bag, not Cartier diamonds; even better in my opinion--although both those sound extraordinary!.

Say hello to Phoenix, a.k.a. Honey Vroom Vroom Child (watch Dance Moms for reference), my 1975 CB360 cafe racer-style motorcycle!

 Ever since a boy took me on a date on the back of his Harley through the Angeles Crest highway that scours the mountains outside of Los Angeles, I've been in love with the idea of getting my own. My own bike, that is. I took the MSF training course, which I highly recommend to any new riders, and got my license before buying a bike. 


I loved that boy's Harley, but they're HUGE for someone like me (although I've seen smaller women riding them) and is hard to find under $5,000 even used. A number of pals had 70s Honda CBs, which can run from 100cc engines to 750cc. Comparatively, the smallest new Harley is 883cc so a good size for a beginner is a 250cc bike. I looked at getting a Honda Rebel, which is styled after a Harley at 250cc, but they seemed too generic. Although knowing what I know now, I probably should've bought a Rebel I can drop and kick around, but why buy sneakers when you can buy stilettos?!

Boo, Honda Rebel. Zzzzz...

After a ton of online research, i.e. looking at motorcycle porn like Bike Exif, I decided on liked the cafe racer look because the distinctive cut-out seat sits the rider lower to the ground--good for my short lil' legs--the lowered handlebars. I'm told the bike is tiny, but for someone who is barely over 100lbs, its still a lot of lift! Plus, cafe racers have a certain refinement you don't see with choppers. I'd love to have a chopper, but it's too much metal for me physically handle right now.

The style came out of 60s England, named after the preferred style of motorcycle kids would literally race from cafe to cafe on. While the mods rode their multi-mirrored Vespa and Lambretta scooters in their Fred Perry polos, their mortal enemies the rockers rode these customized Triumph, Norton and BSA motorcycles in their leather moto jackets covered in buttons. For a time I was a total mod girl, but nowadays I'm really loving a rough rocker/punk look and can't get enough black leather!

These are photos of my bike from the eBay post, kind of like her baby photos, right? I'm yet to take new ones with her new additions.
Love a black and gold moment! This bike in particular is perfect for me because it is as stripped down as possible to make it extremely light compared to a stock CB360. Admittedly it's still heavy to me, but I'm lifting weights to change that.
She's named Phoenix because I actually drove out to the 111-degree weather in Arizona to pick her up. Hopefully the name doesn't backfire and I end up dying in a pit of fire.

 Scenic pit stop on the way to Arizona.

Hey girl, hey.

This CB360 was built out of a box of parts, according to the builder Shawn Smith. She's all CB360 aside from the pipes, which were from a CL360 scrambler. Gives it a sportier look. The tail is completely handmade out of fiberglass by Shawn and so is the paint job. Real nice guy, but not sure why a 6'2'' dude would build just a small bike!

Headed to her new home.

My friend Drew and I roadtripped from Los Angeles to Phoenix to pick her up, just as an excuse for an adventure. I must say it was a long drive, and not cheap to buy a hitch, install it to my car, rent a trailer and drive almost 2,000 miles in two days. But it was worth it--sorta. Nevertheless, it was so nice to get out of Los Angeles, meet Drew's lovely friend Emily, and see what Phoenix was all about.

Not an easy drive.

But happy to bring her home!

I love love love my new bike, but I have to say that buying something that is completely custom-built gets expensive. California requires turn signals while Arizona does not, so just wiring ones on cost as much as a new Alexander Wang bag because the shop had to figure Shawn's work out!

I'm vowing to update this blog more often on new adventures in fashion and motorcycles. But you can keep the most up-to-date with what's happening on my Instagram.

xo T